The controversy about what McCain said, and didn’t say, on Leno last night about Sarah Palin points to a much bigger issue:
Here’s what he said,
“These things happen in campaigns, and I’m just very proud to have had Sarah Palin and her family.”
That’s a nice, namby-pamby sentiment.
It’s not the answer of a leader.
McCain should have instead insisted, as Michelle Malkin said,
I’m going to get to the bottom of this and make sure those blabbermouths never work in a major campaign again.”
Dan (via Larwyn) is even tougher on McCain. I wouldn’t agree with most of Dan’s post but for the fact that McCain’s approach to politics is that of a go-between between two sides, not one of a leader.
Presidential politics is all about leadership. It’s about a vision for the nation. It’s about having a message and sticking to it. It’s about conveying that message to every voter in the country and having them understand that you are the person to bring that vision about.
That, my friends, is why McCain lost the election.
But John McCain is a Republican who does not fit the old template, who does subscribe to some of this ‘change’ agenda on a number of issues. As a result, he was incapable of attacking Obama on the most important grounds of all: that he stood for values inimical to America’s founding principles. When he did venture into this territory, it was half-cocked and far too late, appearing merely like the desperate throw of a loser. The reason he couldn’t do it earlier was that he had no coherent platform of his own. So why vote for a muddled and erratic quasi-‘progressive’ when the real thing is a rock star? It cannot be said too emphatically — the Republicans lost this election. Obama ran a superbly disciplined campaign and he was an impressive candidate, particularly in his calm and stately demeanour throughout. The Republicans screwed up in government, they selected a hopelessly frail and erratic candidate, he ran a shambolic campaign. They deserved to lose.